Throw THESE Away for Better Indoor Air Quality

Your indoor air quality plays an important role in your health and wellness. Living in a home or working in a space with unhealthy air can not only make you feel tired and uncomfortable, it may also potentially put you at risk of health issues like allergies or asthma. Keep reading to learn one of the most harmful household items that almost everyone has and why you should throw it away.

The #1 Household Item That Destroys Indoor Air Quality: Candles

Even though candles smell wonderful and can give your home or office a cozy ambiance, they’re actually quite dangerous in terms of respiratory health according to The Cleveland Clinic. Because candles combust, there’s no way around the fact that they pollute the air when they’re lit.

Harmful compounds like toluene and benzene, which are found in paint thinner and forest fire smoke, are emitted by the burning wick and permeate the air indoors where they can accumulate to unsafe levels without enough ventilation. If you do use a candle, use a warmer that melts the wax without fire or keep your space well ventilated to allow fresh air to reduce the concentration of harmful pollutants.

Toss These Items Too and Breathe Easier

Candles aren’t the only potentially harmful product people commonly use indoors. Consider throwing these other items away too so you can breathe easier:


Like candles, burning incense also falls under the category of combustible products. Even though incense is used widely around the world in homes and for religious practices, the pleasant-smelling smoke that is created can be harmful to your health. Because the powder that coats incense sticks is made from coal powder, ground wood chips, fragrance, adhesive, and potassium nitrate, the resulting smoke creates harmful gasses that accumulate in the air.

Tests have revealed the presence of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), sulfur dioxide, and harmful particulate matter. These gasses are well-researched and have been associated with health risks similar to those of smoking cigarettes, like cancer, inflammation, and heart problems. If you have pets, they are also at risk when you burn incense.

Cleaning Chemicals

Most people believe that when using chemical solutions to clean that most risk is eliminated by wearing gloves. However, this only addresses the risk of touching hazardous chemicals. When used, most cleaning sprays and liquids also emit fumes that when breathed can cause short and long-term health effects.

Headaches, nausea, and lightheadedness are common, while more serious problems like cancer take more time and repeated exposure to develop. You can reduce or prevent exposure by using safe cleaning products like vinegar or lemon juice or invest in organic cleaners that are made with fewer harmful substances. When you clean, make sure to increase the ventilation in your space so you can replace polluted indoor air with fresh air from outside.


You might not think much about the carpets and rugs in your home, but the American Lung Association says these can harbor pet hair, dust, chemicals, and other allergens that even vacuuming can’t remove completely. This is especially true for high-pile or shag rugs and carpets that are more than 10 years old. The larger the carpeted area, the more harmful substances it contains and the higher the risk to your respiratory health.

Consider removing rugs or replacing them with low-pile versions. If your carpet is old, you may want to have it redone or just have vinyl or wood flooring put in. Dander and debris are easier to clean off of hard, smooth floors and these can be easily sanitized without causing damage.

Your Gas Stove

If you have a gas stove, consider replacing it with an electric one. According to Scientific American, all gas stoves, regardless of the appliance age or model, emit harmful gasses like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide that can seriously impact your health and the ecosystem. If you already have respiratory problems, using a gas stove can make them significantly worse.

High concentrations of nitrogen dioxide have been proven to increase the risk of chronic lung conditions, especially with long-term exposure. Like COVID-19, it can rob you of your sense of smell and leave you with other lifelong problems, including asthma and COPD.

Improve Your Air Quality Today with the Help of Cape Cod Heat Pumps

Get better air quality and breathe easier with the help of Cape Cod Heat Pumps. Contact us today by dialing 508-833-4822 to learn more or schedule a time for one of our qualified HVAC consultants to come to you.